by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

It doesn't seem likely that Hollywood will soon run out of Asian horror films to remake. After all, Asia has some eleven trillion people, and it seems that their only source of amusement is scarin' the livin' bejeesus out of one another.

Mirrors gives the big studio treatment to Asian horror with elaborate sets, big explosions, slick CGI, a major star (Kiefer Sutherland) ... the whole nine yards. All that lipstick doesn't make the pig any prettier, however, and this script is an ugly pig.

Kiefer plays a suspended Federal agent named Jack Bauer who ...

OK, he doesn't really play Jack Bauer, but he does. He's actually supposed to be a suspended NYPD detective with another name, but there is absolutely no difference between this character and Jack Bauer, so I'm not going to pretend there is. This is an episode of 24 except that the enemy is a supernatural demon instead of al-Qaida. Jack goes around setting up perimeters and saying things like, "Please don't make me threaten you," in order to get innocent people to give up info faster. When he gets an emergency phone call in the middle of traffic, he says "Goddammit" and spins a 180 in Manhattan traffic so he can high-tail it back to the place where he's needed ... because HE'S RUNNING OUT OF TIME! Then, at the end of the film, he kidnaps a sweet little old nun at gunpoint ... "because my family is not going to die today" ... and he's RUNNING OUT OF TIME. He then ties the old biddy up and sacrifices her saintly ass to the demon, after which he blows up an entire Manhattan block. At times it seems less like 24 than a sequel to Team America, World Police, except the Eiffel Tower somehow remains intact because Jack Bauer destroys New York instead of Paris. But he gets the job done, Goddammit!

Just what is the job he has to do? Well, take the basic plot of The Shining and change the Overlook from an elaborate mountain resort which is completely abandoned in winter to an elaborate New York City department store which was completely abandoned after a big fire.

That department store was built on the site of an insane asylum where experimental procedures ...

And the people involved in those procedures ...

Jack Bauer has been suspended from secret agent duties, so he's hired to be the caretaker of the Overlook Department Store. Soon he starts to see ...

His wife and son are terrified of him because he's acting so crazy, and ...

Well, I think you have the idea.

Things get crazy at the end, and Jack Bauer has to rush to the rescue to save his family. In other words, he basically has to fill both the Jack Nicholson role and the Scatman Carothers role from The Shining. They couldn't hire another actor because they were RUNNING OUT OF TIME!

It's all predictable if you've ever seen either an episode of 24 or any horror movie at any time (especially The Shining), but I give the film a lukewarm recommendation for two reasons:

1. It has a really excellent Twilight Zone postscript which makes perfect sense but I never saw coming. For my money, the ending redeemed the entire film.

2. It has Amy Smart stark naked in good light. That is an element which will cause me to forgive the flaws of pretty much any film not involving David Spade. Oh, who am I kidding? I would probably watch Joe Dirt again if the unrated DVD included an Amy Smart nude scene.


* widescreen







1 James Berardinelli  (of 4 stars)
15 Rotten Tomatoes  (% positive)
35 Metacritic.com (of 100)




6.2 IMDB summary (of 10)
B Yahoo Movies




Box Office Mojo. It opened with a respectable $11 million (fourth place for the weekend), and finished with $30 million. The critics may have hated it, but audiences appeared, and it continues to maintain good grades at Yahoo and IMDb.



  • Amy Smart showed her bum very clearly as she entered a bathtub, and there were also  glimpses of her left breast from the side.


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Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


It is adequate genre fare, but no better. It's better than the critics indicated, but not as good as you would assume from the fan ratings and the box office.